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Thread: 5-string solid body electric--advice?

  1. #26
    Créateur des e-mandos Soundfarmer Pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: 5-string solid body electric--advice?

    Might be worth a look .... In Brazil, a 5 string emando is a Guitarra Baiana (Bahaian Guitar) ....a mini electric guitar!!!!!

    At current rates, $136.00 so very inexpensive ....and it has a purpose made 5 string humbucker rather than a guitar pickup
    NFI.

  2. #27
    ISO TEKNO delsbrother's Avatar
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    Default Re: 5-string solid body electric--advice?

    We discussed Guitarra Baiana previously on the Cafe, to the point where one of us was thinking about importing them and reselling them on the US market as emandos. I don't know whatever became of that.

    I have heard horror stories about doing business with makers IN Brazil, especially when it came to acoustic instruments (even before CITES). I have no idea if those problems also affected electric instrument makers. I was joking with my family about picking up several instruments when I go down to see the Olympics in Rio, but now I'm too chicken to do it (for more reasons than having instruments seized in customs).

  3. #28
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    Default Re: 5-string solid body electric--advice?

    Wanting a five string electric mandolin and being on a budget, I bought a cool-looking little Chinese 8 string electric mandolin that looked a bit like a Rickenbacker. I found a five string Telecaster-style tailpiece with screw-adjusted intonation. (Perfect intonation for all strings!) I replaced the pickup with a high quality jazz guitar pickup. I replaced the cheap pots with StewMac's high end pots. I shes lied the cavities with copper and made sure that the bridge was grounded. I dressed the frets and made sure they were perfect. I made and installed a new bone five string nut. I string it up with half a set of flatwound electric Mandola strings from eMando and an extra .010 E string. I used all the tuners on the right and only the last D tuner on the left side (for the C string) as the extra length on the C string is a help.

    I'm very pleased with the result, and I've been playing it in my band off and on for a couple years. We play only swing. I've learned that I get the Jazz guitar sound I want only be playing without a pick. Wes Montgomery style. Using a pick destroys the sound. If I want to use a pick, I'll use an acoustic mandolin. Also, with an acoustic, I play sharp, slashing chords and a lot of rhythmic dampened chords. With the electric, I have to play chords very gently, often in an arpeggio style. The old-fashioned thump of an old f-hole hollow body jazz guitar won't work.

    Single string soloing is very nice. The C string tension is a little less than perfect, but it's close, and I only now and then use that string for a solo. The big thing for me is having the C string for chords. I play entirely three-finger chords all over the neck without open strings, so the chords are all moveable. About half a dozen finger positions let me play any chord in The Real Book, and I can play in any key without problem. Once you know this half dozen shapes, it's just a matter of knowing where to put them on the fretboard. The huge difference is that with an eight string mandolin a lot of chords become two finger chords on the G and D strings in order to keep the same pattern I'd play elsewhere. With the C string available, I can move from a three string D7 to a three string G7 simply by moving the pattern over a fret. I rarely play a chord that includes the E string, as I like the lower sound for chords with swing, in general.

    Unlike an electric guitar, with an electric five string mandolin with a 14" scale, it's harder to bend strings, and vibrato doesn't work well, and the sustain is less. Apart from that, I like the Jazz guitar tone I'm getting. Apart from getting a bit more tension for the C string, I don't really see the reason in going to Mandola scale length. I also love the extremely low mandolin action, so much better than with a guitar, and the light weight.

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  5. #29
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: 5-string solid body electric--advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Lewis View Post
    What I love about the five string is that it has a greater range than a six string guitar. I should get a five.
    Not to be picky, but a 6 string guitar tuned EADGBE has a wider range than a 5 string mandolin tuned CGDAE.

    Adjusting for octaves, the guitar can go a 6th lower than the mandolin. Same upper range, so the guitar has a wider range.

    Not by much, though!

  6. #30
    Registered User Jon Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: 5-string solid body electric--advice?

    I've said before, that I thought an electric, solid body, four or five string mandolin has essentially the same musical contribution as an electric guitar: however, since the mandolin is tuned in fifths, it isn't played like a guitar. Some rifts are actually easier played on a mandolin than a guitar; an example of which would be a blues shuffle(6th and flatted 7th) played against the root and 5th.

  7. #31

    Default Re: 5-string solid body electric--advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Not to be picky, but a 6 string guitar tuned EADGBE has a wider range than a 5 string mandolin tuned CGDAE.

    Adjusting for octaves, the guitar can go a 6th lower than the mandolin. Same upper range, so the guitar has a wider range.

    Not by much, though!
    Having done a conversion on more than one instrument from 6-string standard-tuning intervals to 5-string fifths tuning, the 5-string instruments all had more range in fifths tuning. The top string remains the same, and the lowest string is tuned two whole notes below the 6-string standard tuning.

    How do those two added full steps wind up being less range?

    Looking at the Gold Tone GME-5 which started this topic, it has 18 frets, so it goes from C3 to Bb6, which is a range of four octaves minus a half-step. A 19-fret Telecaster goes from E2 to B5, a three octaves and a fifth.

    One could limit the number of frets which a 5-string e-mando is allowed to have, of course. A given e-mando could only be compared to, say, a standard-tuned guitar with five more frets than the proposed maximum on the 5-string e-mando, giving the guitar an additional half-step of range.

    ----

    To make it easier to visualize...

    I do sometimes run across old Celloblasters, the 5-string fifths-tuned electric guitars. They also have two whole steps more range (open strings from C2 to E4) than 6-string standard-tuned guitars (open strings from E2 to E4) with the same number of frets.

    A 5-string fifths-tuned instrument will always have two more whole steps of range than a standard-tuned 6-string guitar with the same number of frets.

  8. #32
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    Default Re: 5-string solid body electric--advice?

    I string my Steinberger convertible to have the best of both worlds of bari guitar/mandocello growl and octave mandolin in 5 strings CGDAE. The C is below the guitar's low E, giving a bit more range. For added measure, it has 24 frets.
    Eastman MD505w/K&K, MDO315 w/K&K, MD415GD

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